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November 14, 2005

Cinderella returns to UCSC for holiday season

By Scott Rappaport

Shakespeare Santa Cruz celebrates the holiday season with a return of its acclaimed musical version of Cinderella November 18 through December 18 at the UCSC Theater Arts Mainstage

Shoshana Brooks as CinderellaShoshana Brooks plays Cinderella in the Shakespeare Santa Cruz production. Photo: Steve DiBartolomeo

Cinderella: A New Telling of an Old Tale was created for Shakespeare Santa Cruz by Paul Whitworth and Kate Hawley, with music composed and arranged by Gregg Coffin.  The show opened to rave reviews in its 1999 world premiere and sold out again in 2000.

Whitworth, artistic director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz and director of Cinderella, is well known to audiences in the Bay Area and beyond for his work as both an actor and director. Hawley, playwright and lyricist for the production, also wrote the enormously popular holiday shows Gretel and Hansel and The Princess and the Pea.        

This creative version of the beloved fairy tale features extravagantly outlandish costumes by B. Modern, exuberant choreography by Terry Barto, and spectacular sets by Dipu Gupta. Director Whitworth promises that all the colorful characters will be back: Cinderella, Prince Charming, Little Bo Peep and her very naughty sheep, along with the Ugly Stepsisters (Regan and Goneril) and Cinderella’s astonishingly awful Stepmother, Mrs. Baden-Rotten.

The story of Cinderella has been a treasured folktale for many years; over 300 versions had been collected from all over the world by 1893, including one published in 1697. It also has long been a favorite subject for "pantomime," a form of theater unique to England that employs humor and music to tell a traditional fairy tale. Shakespeare Santa Cruz's Cinderella blends English pantomime with the American musical to create a charmingly unique entertainment.

The San Francisco Chronicle noted that the company’s Cinderella “hits the sweet spot that’s so often missed in family shows. Intelligent and buoyant, lyrical and silly, it plays to real people instead of an age-targeted, holiday-market demographic.” The San Jose Mercury News added: “Shakespeare Santa Cruz proved that intelligence is not verboten in the usually saccharine world of holiday entertainment with its wittily interactive Cinderella.”

The November 18 special preview price is $18. Tickets for all other shows are $18/$14 for children age 12 and younger, $26/$21 for seniors/students/UCSC staff, and $32/$27 for the general public.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the SSC web site or call the UCSC Ticket Office at (831) 459-2159.


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